Andreas Voigt
Regisseur & Autor

The Leipzig Films

  1986 – 1997

a film cycle by
Andreas Voigt

die-leipzig-reihe

 

Ian Aitken

Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film  Routledge, New York/ London, 2006 

Voigt´s participation in Leipzig im Herbst/ Leipzig in Autumn, the documentation of the protests in Leipzig in October and November 1989, established his international reputation. He became one of the most important younger directors to document the political changes in East Germany after unification.

Particularly his five films on the city of Leipzig function as a sensitive seismograph of the feelings of the people.

….His diploma film Alfred (1987), in which he portrayed a worker who was expelled from the party had already gotten him into political trouble with the Communist Party. The film could be seen only at restricted screenings, because it indirect criticized the economic system of the GDR…

The protest against the GDR government began on October 7, 1989, but the documentary studio did not begin shooting until October 16.

The DEFA team with its heavy 35 mm camera and additional lighting, was welcomed warmly by the protesters, a sequence that opens Leipzig im Herbst.

In the interviews they openly demand more freedom, free elections and travelling, and the right to express their political opinions. In contrast, the state officials were thinking only of how best control the situation.

The aesthetic style is typical for the DEFA, with an interesting cadre in black and white, long takes, and patient interviews with the protestors to get the essence of what was happening. The camera actively participates in getting an impression of the atmosphere at this demonstration….

His next film Letztes Jahr Titanic/ Last Year Titanic (1991) follows a journalist, a worker, a left-wing skinhead, a teenager and a pub owner between December 1989 and 1990, the last year of the GDR and the first one in reunified Germany. This film centers not on political opinions but on actual situations, developments, and personal feelings. Of course, in the beginning of the shoot, reunification could not have been predicted. So the film is an important document about the time of change, the social and  economical insecurity, but it also has some ironic and even absurd moments and uses the metaphor of the last dance.

Voigt´s fourth film, Glaube Liebe Hoffnung/ Faith Love Hope (1994), portrays a group of skinheads, some politically left wing, others extremely right wing. One feels the cold atmosphere of the society. The film was controversial. It was praised by some for its inside into the skinhead scene, but attacked by others for giving these radicals a platform for their arguments. Even more confusing were the images in ist brilliant black- and- white cinematography.

The last film in Voigt´s Leipzig cycle is Grosse Weite Welt/ Big Wide World (1997). It addresses the statements of the protagonists of his other Leipzig films by showing their development and how their lives have changed.

 

Alfred  (1987)
35 mm, colour/ bw, 42 min.

Prize of the East German filmclubs
for the best Documentary 

Leipzig im Herbst  (1989) 
35 mm, bw, 54 min.

Dove ´89, International Jury´s Prize,
Leipzig International Documentary Filmfestival
1989, a material by Kroske/Richter/Voigt

Letztes Jahr Titanic  (1991)
35 mm, bw/ colour, 97 min

Adolf- Grimme- Award
for the best German Documentary

Glaube Liebe Hoffnung  (1994)
35 mm, bw, 89 min.

Grand Prix for the best Documentary, Strasbourg,
France

Grosse Weite Welt  (1997)
35 mm, colour/ bw, 90 min.

First screening October 28th 1997
40. International Documentary Filmfestival, Leipzig 

 Camera for all "Leipzig – Films"                                      Sebastian Richter

 

Festivals  (selection)     

internationales forum des jungen films, Leipziger Dokumentar- und Kurzfilmwoche, Oberhausen, Cinéma du Réel, Paris, IDFA, International Dokumentary Filmfestival Amsterdam, Dokumentary Filmfestival Strasbourg, Festival dei Popoli, Florenz 

Screenings   (selection) 

Belgium, Danmark, France, Great Britain, Hongkong, Iceland, India, Japan, Canada, Austria, Poland, Roumania, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, USA

 

Downloads, snopsis

 

Trailer